Spamming the EU – The power of not being categorized

Short thesis

Ever wondered who decides what is spam, or how Member States deal with it? In this talk you will travel along an interactive spam map of the European Union that will show you how powerful it is not to be categorized as spam in legislation, and what it means to your understanding and experience of the online environment.


The online environment disrupted old telecommunications legislation. It introduced new challenges to the European Union's attempt to regulate and control this fast growing territory. Spam is interesting since it is not directly addressed, defined, categorized or discussed in EU legislation, it travels between different fields, mainly media, commerce and human rights. The elusiveness of spam in EU legislation shows how power is exercised by not defining it as a distinct category. Through an interactive map of spam in the European Union, you will see how spam travels across different laws, Directives, agreements and organizations, and how it manages to escape legislation. This talk will examine what it means for your involvement in the online environment, and importantly - who benefits from it.